Is Tony La Russa a Good October Manager?

From SABR member Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation on October 27, 2011:

For a week or two there, Tony La Russa couldn’t really do anything wrong.

Then the World Series comes along, and suddenly a few things started going wrong. At which point La Russa’s predilection for micro-managing suddenly seemed an affliction rather than a gift. And suddenly it was easy for the second-guessers and the naysayers and the nattering nabobs to engage their reflexive negativity and skepticism.

“If he were such a genius,” they said — okay, maybe I said — “why has he lost so many postseason games? Why has he lost so many postseason series?”

It’s a funny thing, isn’t it? We know that Tony La Russa ranks third on the all-time list for career managerial wins, and is going to pass No. 2-man John McGraw next season. But when it comes to La Russa’s postseason record, mostly what we know is that in 33 years he’s won two World Series.

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Why focus on World Series alone, though? Five World Series (before this one) and 21 games … seems like a lot of games, but of course it’s really not. What if we look at all the postseason games La Russa has managed? Wouldn’t that give us a better read on his actual abilities? To whatever small degree we can do that?

And here’s the thing … Before this World Series, La Russa’s teams have played in 25 postseason series. They won 15 of them.

That’s really good.

Read the full article here: http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/10/27/2517940/world-series-2011-is-tony-la-russa-a-good-october-manager



Originally published: October 27, 2011. Last Updated: October 27, 2011.

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